No Country is an Island in Regulating Food Safety: How the WTO Monitors Chinese Food Safety Law Through the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM)

26 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2014  

Francis Snyder

Peking University School of Transnational Law; CERIC, Aix-Marseille University; College of Europe, Bruges; Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry

Date Written: September 23, 2014

Abstract

Established within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) reviews periodically the trade policies of all WTO Members. The review includes many aspects of food safety regulation. China’s trade policy is reviewed every two years. This paper analyses in detail the reviews of China’s trade policy in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. It focuses in particular on food safety law and types of standards, alignment of domestic standards with international standards, the role of different domestic institutions, transparency and notification of food safety measures under the WTO agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), import and export, and geographical indications (GIs). It concludes that the WTO TPRM can contribute, within its mandate, to reform of Chinese food safety law and improvement of food safety in China. It notes that China has already undertaken substantial reforms of its system for regulating food safety. It recommends that China should continue to participate actively in the TPRM, follow its own path with regard to alignment and learn selectively from other WTO Members. It also makes specific recommendations for reform of food safety law in China.

Keywords: Food safety, food standards, Public health, Consumer welfare, China, Chinese food safety law, World Trade Organization, WTO Law, Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM), SPS Agreement, TBT Agreement

JEL Classification: D73, D78, E65, F02, F13, F23, H11, H41, I18, L66

Suggested Citation

Snyder, Francis, No Country is an Island in Regulating Food Safety: How the WTO Monitors Chinese Food Safety Law Through the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) (September 23, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2500057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2500057

Francis Snyder (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

University Town,
Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

CERIC, Aix-Marseille University

Faculté de Droit et de SP., 3 av. Robert Schuman
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, 13628
France

College of Europe, Bruges

Dijver 11
B-8000 Brugge, Oost Vlanderen 10000
Belgium

Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry ( email )

3 Taicheng Road
Yangling, Xianyang, Shaanxi 71200
China

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